EU grains vulnerable with no protective snow

(Reuters) –– Bitterly cold weather in Europe is raising concerns over damage to European Union grain plantings, but crops could still come through the cold snap unscathed, analysts said.

The problem is that snow is scarce in west Europe’s Grain Belts.

In France, a mild winter has soft wheat crops about two to three weeks ahead of normal. In the Beauce Grain Belt and the western coast, two of the country’s three largest durum-producing regions, there is little or no snow cover.

It’s the same in Germany, where recent lows have hit the -20 C mark. In Italy, snow has fallen in the northern and central regions, easing concerns about possible dryness in spring. A lack of moisture is the main concern in Spain while snow cover is believed to be thin in Poland, Romania and Baltic States.

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